Travis says, What do you mean 'Christmas Countdown'?
It's not even Halloween yet!
Over the years, I've turned into quite the Christmas grinch. I wish Christmas were more like Thanksgiving--lots of good food, happy family time around the fire, peace and quiet, no presents. Instead it's a month's worth of madness. But this year, there's a new Christmas sheriff in town.
That would be me.
Today is October 25th, and it's time to get going. Okay, it was probably time to get going on August 25th, but I really can't bear the idea of spending a third of the year on Christmas. 1/6 of the year is all I can do. From reading Jo's blog, I see I'm not the only one who's already thinking about the holidays (in fact, I imagine I'm at the end of a long line, but planning two months ahead is really pretty impressive, given my usual last-minute ways). (Okay, not last minute, but nowadays starting your holiday planning on December 1st is a bit last minute, given Christmas craziness).
My plan for this weekend: clean out the pantry, the lazy susan cabinet and the deep freeze. None of these is terribly out of control, and if I tackle them now they should stay in good shape through the season. I'll also get a good idea of what I need to stock up on.
I'm also going to make one batch of Christmas cookie dough. My recipe makes a ton, and I'll probably only need two batches total. It freezes well. The trick is to freeze it small batches and not to forget that it's there.
I'm very pleased with myself that last year I started a Christmas notebook, and right after the holidays I made a list of what wrapping supplies we have and what we need. I hope that will save me from making desperate trips to Target for gift bags and then discovering the stash we have in the attic.
So, what are you doing to prepare for the holidays? Or are you just winging it?
Awkward situation: There is a boy in Will's class he was friendly with last year, but has grown weary of this year. We'll call him Max. We had Max over for a sleepover early in the school year, and while he's not awful, he's not Will's cup of tea (or mine, either--when we pulled up the driveway, Max took one look at our house and said, "Ethan was right, your house is small." A bizarre remark, given our house, while not a McMansion, is hardly a shack in the woods. What I soon came to realize is that this kid is uber-competitive, and he was simply throwing down the gauntlet).
As I write, Will's two best friends, Gavin and Win, are upstairs playing with the magnetic dartboard Gavin gave Will for his birthday (which is Halloween, which is why the birthday sleepover was last night)(no school today). The three boys can definitely get competitive with each other, but overall there's a spirit of cooperation and comradery which makes their get-togethers a good time for everyone.
When Max slept over, Will was in tears by the end of the night, exhausted by everything having to be a competition, and Max often winning the competitions by simply claiming, "I won. You lose every time!"
(I should revise my above remarks. Max is awful. But he's awful in a way that makes you think he's really insecure and just trying to find his place in the pack. Still, he won't be sleeping over at our house again.)
So, earlier this week I got an email from Max's mom, wanting to know if Will was going to play any sports this winter, because she wanted Max to play a sport, but he'd be more enthusiastic about playing on a team with friends. I emailed back and let her know in the vaguest possible way that Will is going to play basketball, and now she wants to sign Max up to be on Will's team.
Will does not want Max on his team. (I haven't told him about the email exchange, but I can assure you that Will does not want Max on his team.) There's not much I can do about it. We actually still have to sign Will up, and it's tempting to write on his form, "Please do not put Will on the same team as Max!"
Here's what I know I won't do that I'd like to do: Email Max's mom and say, Will and Max have had a friendship fail. Please don't try to put them on the same team. Please stop sending me emails about the summer camp Max went to last year in hopes I'll send Will there with Max next year. Please let this go.
But since I don't have the guts to do that, I will keep getting emails from Max's mom, and I will have to find creative ways to say, no, Will doesn't want to come over for a sleepover or a playdate or be on Max's team. Drop it. These guys are in fifth grade; it's time for them to work the friendship thing out for themselves.
I'd much rather think about cleaning out the deep freeze. And that's saying something.
Happy weekend, everyone! Merry Christmas!